Campaigns | Guest Editors | Mammals | Birds | Underwater | Landscapes | Pets | Other

Common as duck

by Darren

Mallards are fantastic creatures. They are the UK’s commonest type of duck and can be found pretty much everywhere you go.  Every wetland you visit is bound to have some, and even urban areas aren’t immune to their presence.  Many birdwatchers dismiss them as common, but I enjoy watching them swimming around looking for their favourite foods – shoots, seeds and leaves of an array of water-based plants.

A child’s first introduction to wildlife in the UK is taking stale bread to the local pond to feed the ducks.  Chances are that the bleached white flour will fill their stomachs and not provide a lot of nutrition, but then again they like it, and many of us eat junk food too.   Moreover the child is going to develop an appreciation of wildlife that will, in at least some, hopefully carry through to adulthood.

The mallard drake will pursue the female quite vigorously, fighting off other males in order to mate with the female.  That is, unless he’s gay – up to 19% of mallard pairs are male/male – and in this case he’ll be much happier just swimming round with his mate looking for some stray crumbs or some tasty leaves.

Comments are closed.